Main Question: What are some appropriate strategies for helping someone formulating a political question that is actually appropriate to ask on this community site?

Most of the time I think it is important for people to understand why someone may want to ask such a question that maybe doesn't have a law or political science background.

Hence, I like to explain for the sake of context why I am asking a question so others with the same thought that didn't ask perhaps because they thought it was too stupid for this place can perhaps see it's fine to be curious and ask.

Why and Context

Time and time again I find myself asking what I think are legitimate political questions that people with no political science or law background are just curious to know and these questions just seem like "common sense" type questions regular people should be asking here for the more political experts and enthusiasts to answer and provide feedback.

However when I post those many times on this community I start taking downvotes, I ask people to help me understand how to fix the question to make it more appropriate, and so forth.

Sometimes I go through several edited variations and finally get it right and sometimes I am able to delete the original question I asked and word it the more appropriately to be correct for this site.

There are absolutely many more millions of US Citizens for example without US law and political science backgrounds that are voting elected officials into office than the voters with those sort of backgrounds.

So I feel it is way more important for regular common sense type political questions to be asked and to be answered for clarity for these people rather than making as most appropriate to be 100% unable to be scrutinized for being written in a way that is not appropriate for this site.

Obviously there are more political people lurking around here that understand these things way more than the average person so this is why I take so much heat in some of the questions I've asked. Some seem to have been on the fence and some seem to be way off and some were so way off when originally asked that by the time I may get it somewhat right, I have tons of downvotes and answers on it already and I cannot just delete and ask the same question again.

So then finally comes in a regular person that perhaps is curious of this same sort of common sense layman political question that wants to know and sees a correlated post (finally fixed edit 22) but with slews of downvotes. Thus they perhaps interpret that that must not be a question they should be looking at or take serious or ask themselves somewhat differently and it just discourages them from participating here.

These scenarios seem like a pure disservice to the Politics community here basically hindering what could be many many more regular non-law non-PS people participating in this community and ultimately oppressing this sort of information from being posted for others to see.

I was thinking of perhaps...

  • Coordinating with a mod to have a non-meta I ask initially be locked so I can later delete and ensure no answer are posted until I get it right to ask in a new question appropriately.
  • Asking my question on meta first even though it's perhaps not really a meta question and less people go there that the non-meta main site so less feedback.
  • Posting on this community's chat for people to provide feedback but way less people go there and would provide less feedback.
  • Asked for some sort of feature request that would allow such pre question formulation to make it appropriate with as much exposure as the main non-meta site gets.
  • Posting political question on maybe a different site first (non-SE community) and then coming back and asking here once I get it formulated more appropriate for this SE community.

I have many other questions that I hear so many regular US citizen talking about that seem to be related to politics and obviously these need to be formulated in a way for this community that they are unable to be scrutinized to be taken serious.

But I need help getting there first so I'm curious what strategies others can think of to help ensure the end result is not hindered an oppressed as I mentioned above to best help me prevent those scenarios but still get the content out there in a fashion that others will take serious.

  • I have asked this question before but it was about a single question and as you can see at current times this has great relevance now but there are slews of downvotes so who is going to take that serious politics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4413/… it's like the context is taken as the question rather than why the questions are being asked. I have many other questions I believe that are relevant I can ask now and likely be even more relevant (as that question's question I wrote about) is now than it was then... e.g. BLM, police injustice, etc. Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 15:51
  • And for those that can see this, here's an example of something that I initially thought worked better and then deleted to ask it differently post feedback from others in the community: politics.stackexchange.com/questions/60828/… Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


Giving some context for a question is desirable often enough, but there is a point at which too much of that starts to look like advocacy. That's more likely to happen if the context consists of numerous paragraphs why the question asker thinks something is awesome or, in the opposite direction, why something is a big problem.

And I see that mod Philipp has basically said the same thing here, regarding your recent question.

  • Okay, so keep the context to a minimum and pack in the main points as minimally as possible and with as least amount of words as possible too. I basically did not get that at all from Philips answer on that other post I was asking about something else though. I'm posting what a normal person would talk about to bring up a concern at a political level in the real world. I've modified my other question to help conform it a bit more to these standards but I still have work to do on this front in terms of what context and wording to use while keeping it minimal. Omitting entirely though is absurd. Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 23:28
  • 3
    @PresidentBernieSanders: I'd just like to point out that it took you three paragraphs and a couple hundred words to say "I disagree that I'm too wordy, I just think I need to provide context". It honestly reminds me of writing back in school, when you're assigned a 3-page essay and just start padding the word count after running out of ideas halfway through page 2. Do you know what happens when a non-expert sees a wall of text that the author says is needed to understand the topic? They don't read it.
    – Giter
    Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 6:22
  • Okay, point taken that being too overly detailed is a bad thing and doesn't always help with trying to make a point... I was really more focused on questions and answers than comment strategy do's and don'ts but I see what you're saying. Thanks Commented Dec 13, 2020 at 11:02

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